Drought Chic – Brown is the New Green

photoThe drought was never more noticeable than the other day when we returned from New Jersey, where everything was green, even the ignored open fields had tall green grass and colorful wildflowers. Our first day home, the normally well manicured yards featured brown grass. Houses with gardeners working away, also had browning yards. It’s what we have to do, but it’s sad and ugly, yet no one wants to be the house with the glowing green grass shouting that you’re a water hog.

Before we left on our trip, a visitor here noted with surprise that restaurants will only bring water if requested. Been there, done that many times over my lifetime with each drought.

Our house had a small lawn area that was killed off over a year ago when our former builder went rogue (not the word I really want to use) and cut the plumbing to our sprinklers. We were ahead of the trend, though we didn’t want to be. The bad news is that with our water use drastically down over a year ago, any baseline to judge required cut backs is coming from an artificially low number. Our drought resistant plants look dull, too. This just means we’ll be brown indefinitely.

Another depressing casualty is that Memorial Park was closed for camping this summer, causing our annual moms and kids camping trip to turn into a day picnic at a local park. It’s pretty bad if a person who hates camping – ME! – is sad about it.

I’ve said how much I love the signature golden hills of California, yet I hate that brown lawns may become signature, too, and wild lands are turning into potential kindling.

Update undermining everything: We drove through Woodside this week and saw house after house with bright green grass shining through gates and fences. So not everyone is visible cutting back their water consumption. Keepin’ it real in Woodside.

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